Notes on traveling to the States and back (Dec 2020

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Notes on traveling to the States and back (Dec 2020

I not too long ago traveled from Japan to the states and again, so I figured I might write out my expertise as others have finished on this subreddit. The journey was from mid-December till mid-January.

Edit: Here’s a listing of paperwork I acquired within the means of returning to Japan:

Haneda Quarantine Course of

Japan Entry Directions

LINE Directions

Quarantine Station Data

Questionnaire Directions

Japan -> USA (mid-December, 2020)

  • I booked a round-trip flight with Delta

  • Rode the prepare in to Haneda, terminal 3

  • Checked in as regular, was interviewed about the place I used to be going and the way lengthy I used to be in Japan, and whether or not I used to be in some other nations up to now 14 days

  • Haneda was very empty, solely a handful of different individuals round us.

  • Employees was all masked up, some with plastic face shields

  • Safety was very empty and straightforward, nonetheless the conventional procedures.

  • Entered the boarding space, many retailers had been closed. It appeared like solely Three Delta flights had been operating at this cut-off date (~4:00 PM)

  • Just a few retailers had been open – Udon/soba, Kansai meals (okonomiyaki, takoyaki), a western wanting bar, and a meat place. “Books and Medicine” was additionally open promoting toiletries, souvenirs, some snacks and drinks, books, and naturally medication!

  • Aircraft boarding process was by those that want help, then by seat row. The order was again to entrance.

  • I wore a plastic face protect to stroll by means of the aircraft to my seat.

  • The aircraft was fairly empty, particularly the again part. Everybody has Three seats to themselves no less than. In a 3-3-Three configuration, Delta blocks the center seat in every part.

  • Everybody was requested to put on a masks always.

  • Meals and drinks had been about the identical, loos had been stored clear.

Arriving in America

  • Procedures had been pretty regular, although for some purpose I did not have to fill out a customs type and even discuss to a customs officer. I simply picked up my luggage and instantly checked them in once more as I had a connecting flight.

  • The home flight was rather more crowded. This was across the vacation season which could clarify why, however home flights additionally appeared actually low-cost.


America has since modified their coverage and now require a PCR check inside 72 hours of departure. Extra information right here

Covid Check in America

I opted for a PCR check in Colorado Springs known as Qwikcare MD. Their turnaround time was roughly 36 hours, and it was $126 from the pressing care and an additional $100 which the lab payments me. Not low-cost.

I downloaded the shape from MOFA and introduced it with me for the check. I had the nurse signal as a lot of it as potential (check kind, saliva/nasal pattern, pattern date+time), and he or she even stamped the pressing care’s tackle on it (I advised her Japanese officers love seeing stamped paperwork, lol). There was no physician on web site which may give me a signature, however having the nurse signal it was higher than nothing.

After I acquired the outcome, I went again to the pressing care to get the outcome date written in and signed. I additionally acquired some additional paperwork from the lab with additional particulars on the check. This is not potential for everybody to do as some locations e-mail you a PDF or different digital outcome. For these circumstances, I’ve heard of “associates” writing within the outcome date, or others merely printing out the outcome e-mail/PDF and bringing it with them. Level is, get as a lot official documentation and paperwork as you’ll be able to. Make a number of copies of those papers and hold them in separate locations – it’s going to be very exhausting to get into the nation with out them.

Flying again to Japan

Denver -> Detroit (mid-January, 2021)

  • I used to be touring with my companion who’s a Japanese native. She didn’t do a PCR check inside 72 hours of departure.

  • On the airport, I could not verify in on the computerized kiosk as a result of I did not have a return date to the states.

  • I confirmed the girl my passport with the re-entry permission and my residence card. Ample for verify in. She additionally requested me for my destructive covid outcome.

  • I used to be advised I have to fill out a questionnaire and obtain a QR code on the finish of it which I might then current to immigration upon touchdown.

Questionnaire URL:

  • Safety was regular and surprisingly nice, perhaps the TSA staff simply began their shift (6:15 AM flight)

  • I needed to take a home flight from Denver to Detroit. There have been round 20 individuals on the 737-900.

Detroit -> Haneda

  • Arrived on the gate with not many individuals. Employees requested we current a passport, residence card, proof of destructive covid check, and a QR code acquired from a well being questionnaire accomplished previous to arriving.

  • My companion did not have a destructive check outcome as I discussed, however she’s allowed on if she agrees to quarantine for 3 days after which take one other PCR check at that time.

  • They handed out papers on the jetway gate which explains the arrival course of in Haneda. Within the aircraft, we acquired a type to fill out – a “written pledge” to quarantine for 14 days and set up LINE and CoCoA.

  • Additionally acquired the standard customs and immigration types for foreigners.

  • The flight was once more tremendous empty, particularly within the again.

Touchdown at Haneda:

  • We had been requested to not get up after arriving on the gate as a result of quarantine officers will come on the aircraft and facilitate deplaning. Amazingly everybody appeared to conform.

  • We ended up getting off the aircraft with out interacting with any officers.

  • You stroll down some lengthy hallways and attain a number of checkpoints that verify in your QR code and “well being card” (I used to be confused as as to whether or not I had the well being card, I feel it was the paper I acquired after I boarded the aircraft).

  • In the event you’re Japanese and haven’t got a destructive check outcome, you are given an enormous inexperienced tag in your arm to separate you at a later checkpoint.

  • The subsequent checkpoint offers you a saliva pattern equipment. You step apart in a sales space partition factor and spit into it, then cap it and hand it over. Every pattern vial has a label already hooked up, and also you’re given a quantity related to that vial.

  • Subsequent you sit at a desk they usually get your QR code once more, scan your passport, and obtain your destructive check outcome certificates. They ask the way you’re getting residence. You aren’t allowed to take public transportation, together with taxis. Most individuals have a pal choose them up, from the individuals I’ve talked to. They may also get your telephone quantity and make sure you’ve added the “Ministry of Well being, Labour, and Welfare” as a pal on LINE.

  • At this level, Japanese residents who did not get a PCR check earlier than the flight are separated and led to a different space.

  • You then transfer to an empty airport gate the place they’ve check outcome numbers displaying up on a display screen, much like McDonalds.

  • My quantity confirmed up after about 50-60 minutes – destructive.

  • I used to be capable of then proceed to the conventional immigration and customs course of. The immigration officer once more checked my PCR check outcome.

  • My companion was allowed to choose up her baggage earlier than being shuttled to a lodge to quarantine for Three days. That complete course of is type of foolish in the event that they’re simply allowed to enter baggage declare with whoever, however oh nicely.

2 Week Quarantine

  • Within the airport course of you had been registered with the Ministry of Well being on LINE. You might be anticipated to reply a questionnaire day-after-day for 14 days, which asks when you’ve got a temperature over 37.5, or when you’ve got any covid-like signs corresponding to a cough, sore throat, runny nostril, and so on.

  • In some circumstances you may additionally obtain a name from the federal government. It is automated and asks the identical questions because the LINE survey, however perhaps a bug of their system causes them to contact you in two other ways.

Three Day Lodge Quarantine

  • In the event you’re a Japanese citizen and arrive and not using a destructive PCR check, you may be quarantined in a lodge for Three days.

  • On the third day, should you check destructive you are free to go, although you have to prepare for a pal to choose you up.

  • The lodge my companion stayed in had many bulletins on a loudspeaker system all through the day, beginning round 6:30 AM.

  • Total it was a fairly disagreeable keep so keep away from it should you can.


Total it is various work and stress making certain you might have a PCR check lined up and might get the end in time in your flight. Ensure you’re ready nicely forward of time for the place you may get the check and what types you want signed. Everybody concerned in each the US and Japanese facet had been fairly good in serving to me undergo the method. The employees at Haneda had been significantly affected person and useful given the anxious job of serving to probably covid-positive individuals re-enter Japan.

Be at liberty to ask any questions in regards to the course of, and keep in mind that my data can turn out to be outdated fairly rapidly as issues change, so you’ll want to keep updated on re-entry procedures!

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